My father being a chemist at one point in his life did mean that there were a few interesting places we could get answers for some Roleplaying ideas.
Chemical Powers: These powers cover three distinct yet related concepts. The first of which is the ability to sheath the body in some sort of energy, element, chemical or compound, the second of which is the ability to compose the characters body in its entirety an element chemical or compound and the third of which is the ability to generate substances similar to those above. In selecting this power there are a few basic decisions that need to be made either randomly or by choice: Randomly, 40% of the time the character Sheaths themselves retaining a basic internal structural integrity and form but with an useful outer layer, 60% of the time the characters body is Composed of the substance becoming a homogenous form of the material in nearly all respects and the rest of the time the character generates (or alternately converts other compounds to) compounds. 60% of the time the character can only generate results of one compound (Allmetal, Sunlight, Uranium, Earth/Sand) 30 % of the time the character governs whole groups of compounds and elements always thematically linked (The Four Elements, Light Spectrum, Metals, Carbons) and the remainder of the time the character can sheath/compose/generate any form of matter and many forms of energy (though care should be taken to prevent overlap with other characters themes). After all other abilities are assigned there is a 30% chance the character is permanently altered, even in those cases of multiple choices the character may simply be unable to select/become a passable human form.
A: The character in most cases will have some sort of attack, but because this may duplicate another power and it’s special abilities the attack abilities generally ascribe to the maxim of a high PR cost (5+1/other advantage, -1/other disadvantage), Sx2″ range (generally actually hurling the appropriate substance), and dealing 2d8 damage. However this may be modified by story needs and Gm/player discretion.
B: Generally the character either innately possesses or can generate some sort of defense usually for one action to ‘power up’ (none for those who are permanently changed) and from then on no action (unless the character actually has to shoot down incoming attacks) or power (unless the character loses part of his self or composition by being attacked and must replace the losses) costs are to be used.
C: Movement: Most characters with this power generally don’t gain movement abilities (unless there is some form of energy emissions related to their power) though ideas may include a bonus to ground movement related to sliding across other surfaces (About half or less as advantageous as a speed bonus power) or some kind of tunneling ability (breaking through or perhaps converting the intervening material to a passable substance). In most cases Chemical powered characters have no additional movement powers but those based upon particles/energy/gasses may be able to fly in a fashion, those with liquid or some flexible compounds forms could possibly seep through cracks, drains etc…
D: Senses: Though rare, there are occasional imaginative uses of Chemical powers to increase certain sensory abilities. Examples could include a granular character leaving aware part(s) of his body behind in order to sense if someone is following him. An endothermic character having the ability to sense heat or perhaps a desiccant based characters’ ability to sense liquids could be another example of a thematically relevant sense. Some versions can tell composition of substances in order to better affect the targeted materials.
Examples of Chemical Powers (2d8-1)
Advantages of Chemical Communication: He or She with this power has chemical based communication to begin with the character(s) has the capacity to leave messages for a variety of creatures usually in the insect world. Without another power or training there may be difficulties with more than very basic insectodial communication. By altering the chemicals they release when they touch the ground they can easily retrace their steps unless the area is chemically cleansed or altered and may be able to track others based upon their unusual chemical properties. The character could also minimize their environmental impact becoming almost untrackable in this manner as well as leaving nearly no biometrics by using rapidly degrading/evaporating compounds. As a final idea they can create a Smellbook for humanoids: this book contains ‘textbook’ ways to teach characters how to differentiate chemicals by scent and build a simple lexicon for a difficult to comprehend code for most. A codebook that should it fall into the wrong hands discover they will be able to also understand the simple phrases.
Air Sheath: The character is continually surrounded by a thin layer of resilient air that provides several defenses as well as a few other options: The greatest of these is the Immunity to gas based attacks, with the air sheath defending the character granting a -2 to be hit by most other attacks. +5″ to ground movement and leaping (gliding like an air hockey puck) as well as halving the chance of tracking rolls against the character while ground gliding (if not making it completely impossible in many situations). Offensively the character is capable of firing off bursts of air dealing 1d12 damage, for 6 PR, up to S” away and adding +S/3% (after multipliers) to KO rolls suffered by others from HTH attacks by virtue of ‘knocking the air’ out of them.
Alchemy Pistolero: Appearing to be an odd appearing pistol shaped item this tool of magical science enables the rapid formulation of alchemical compounds and in the right user hands can be a devastating multipurpose tool capable of performing a wide variety of effects. In addition to the invention process for solving issues (at the standard Invention costs) for a PR cost of 9 the character can use his Invention % to formulate a very interesting solution by taking up to two mechanics from other powers and producing this effect at a range of I/3â€, and adding the Int damage bonus instead to either range, creating an area of effect or accuracy. Use of this concept as a solution to a problem may only be attempted once per problem or session, Gm’s choice at creation.
-Be My Breath: the character (either naturally or by conscious choice depending upon the power origin) converts his exhalation to what the other person needs to inhale in order to survive in closed environment. This costs 1 PR per hour and most likely requires proximity not necessarily intimacy.
Bomb sniffing: the character has the ability to detect a wide range of dangerous items (bombs are a favorite, though other various chemical compounds like drugs or even the ability to analyze all chemicals but focused upon one tight group at a time could be very useful). This is an opposed D% roll using the Inventing % of the concealing character vs the inventing % of the locating character and seeing who does better.
Chemokinisis: is the ability to manipulate chemicals that are relatively pure at the weight of SxLvlx20 (the number of options are quite large but not totally unrestricted as the character in a natural area would have many limits on their choices) For ease of use this is handled mechanically like Telekinisis taking what ever needed mechanics from that power description.
Chemical Cornucopia: This is the ability to generate any chemical compound known to the character. Upon a successful Intelligence based Chemistry Skill check (modified by the Gm according to difficulty and dramatic needs) the character can generate supplies of a known chemical/compound element that can aid in their current situation. It costs an amount of PR equal to the Structural Rating of the item in question per cubic foot of the material generated (generally the highest SR for complex items) For complex items the character should have some sort of skill related to the item in order to make certain it is functioning properly (i.e. mechanical Skills for most simple or complex items, Computer skill for computer items etc. the Gm should present some rational for inclusion or exclusion taking into account the players suggestions).
Chemical Lab/Factory: The character has the ability to analyze and create/cook chemicals with a significant +% to their chances of success because of their access to the tools in their lab which may also offer other benefits such as a place to rest, common supplies etc. The area could range from a small parcel buried in an industrial park to a large formerly (or even still) operating factory
Curative Elixir: this libation may reverse or delay the onset of many transforms or reverse many transmutes. Applied by touch having a 1-3 round onset time and costing 10 Pr +the PR cost of the original power per dose it has a I% chance of working in some temporary or limited fashion and a 5% chance of working out right (modified by dramatic needs by the GM). This could also be used much like bandages granting x2 recovery for the first recovery after they are first worn (even if strenuous activity occurs).
Fire Fighting Foam Form: being composed of this foam can grant the ability to utilize the Non-Corporeal defense against most physical attacks, with a foam blast that deals 2d8 damage from the force/caustic reactions up to E” away for 8 PR. In addition the character can seep through cracks and drains by using one action to liquefy his form and to reform and quadruple the normal movement cost to cross the intervening space. The foam blast automatically can drain fire attacks and nullify any special effects of fire still burning though not canceling things like smoke and heat damage that has already occurred.
It’s a Gas: the characters’ chemical powers are gas related, ranging from an attack that seeks to fill a specific volume of 1/3 the characters range as determined by the book power but can be shaped by the characters will in that area to the character being a gas perhaps with a variety of air manipulation options ranging from displacing dangerous chemicals to controlling the balance of the surrounding air (suffocation of fires and even people, Increasing the positive or negative effects of too much oxygen for unprotected breathers)
Junior Scientist: With some time and effort the character can do some basic analysis of the scientific properties of an item of interest, it has a 20% chance +4% per level to a maximum of 96% percent (the other 4% is an automatic failure) per power of determining the power after one minute of analysis.
Just spit me out/What I’m made of: This defensive Chemical power makes the character taste ‘bad’ to many things that try to eat them. Any character without an active Adaption type power trying to harm the character by some form of biting/devouring the character with this power will reflexively gag and spit the character out unless they make an I% save after the first attack. This also halves the odds a similarly appearing character will be attacked by a character that has encountered this power.
King Coal: Fire is at its base form is a chemical reaction this power seeks control over that reaction for the benefit of the users intentions. Fire ignition and smoke abilities can be duplicated though only half as powerful as those powers. The character can build a sort of trap: Coal dust explosion cumulative 10% chance per round of combat that there is a coal dust explosion by using 1 action and 8 PR to initiate the dust creation process and one action and 8 PR each time the character desires to double the area the 2d8 explosion will fill. High energy or chemical reaction attacks (Fires, lasers etc.) increase the odds by 5-10% (1d6+4% doubled if deliberately desired to set off) per shot while ice, water, wind/air and many earth based attacks reduce the odds by the same.
Transdermal Patch: designed for ease of use by simply peeling and placing the patch upon a targets skin. Developed for self-use the character has a chemical empowering cocktail. Taking the typically one charge of the drug grants a user several abilities for the span of an hour; superhuman strength, durability, increased resistance to physical damage (to the extent of being impervious to small arms fire) and speed enhancements. Other, lesser known and mentioned powers include night vision and the ability to survive underwater. in some older campaigns there are older versions of this power using pills or injections to achieve similar results.
And what would chemical powers be if not for reactions like rust? Which in and of itself can result in a beauty as seen in the picture above.